Everyday Life in Babylonia Assyria By Henry William Frederick Saggs


The use of perfumes by Babylonian men did not, of course, imply that they were perverts, says the learned Professor Saggs. Thanks for that, Professor, I was so worried. A few other artifacts of his own historical millieu and prejudices -- apologia for empire and slavery and the brutal Assyrian regime, ignoring women (who in Mesopotamia, as we know from documents of the time, ran businesses and wrote poetry, etc) except as adulteresses and sex slaves, describing the religion of the time as low and crude -- make the professor easy to despise, but he has gathered a reasonably user-friendly bunch of information on how people lived in the first civilizations. Doubtless there are better resources now, but this one was in my public library. History

I found this book to be a speedy read surveying various aspects of life in ancient Babylonia and Assyria. The wealth, sophistication and power of the ancient Mesopotamian cultures & societies is awe inspiring and makes an interesting counterpoint to the contemporaneous societies of Western Europe.
The wealth of artefacts and texts left by Babylonain-Assyrian civilisations is a treasure trove resource for archaeologists and historians offering fabulous insights and glimpses into those societies.
Saggs book is well over 50 years old itself, and is a bit of an artifact by virtue of its vintage. It sheds some light on the attitudes of the author and his milleu:
imperialism is not necessarily wrong: there are circumstances in which it may be both morally right and necessary (p. 118). Come to think of it, that atitude to imperialism is not that uncommon nowadays particulary among nostalgists for empire in countries like the UK, Turkey, France, Spain etc who hanker for the glory days of imperialism or argue that imperialism had a lot of positives you know!. It still informs the policies of powerful nations with their sense of mission and ambition to shape the world order.
Referring to the ethnically mixed & diverse nature of Babylon's population, Saggs refers to 'interbreeding', and characterizes the city as a thoroughly mongrel city (p 165). He was obviously not an early fan of multi-culturalism!
And Saggs was definitely a stiff upper lip man's man type of Anglo, with his comment on the use of perfumes by Babylonian males: The use of scent by Babylonian men did not, of course, imply that they were perverts - why of course!!!! Persish the thought old boy that the flower of Babylonian manhood were a bunch of pooftahs!!!!!!!
The book is a wonderful survey of the state of knowledge and academic speculation about life in Babylonia and Assyria circa 1965, on a meta level it's an interesting reflection of some of the more reactionary views of the author and no doubt many of his ilk circa 1965. History 3.5 stars History Although unsurprisingly dated (published in 1965) in places, still a solid 101 primer and a good intro to the field for curious amateur historians. History This book was just what I expected, a high school type ancient history book. A great big bore. I know from other books I have read that this subject can me presented in an interesting way. NOT HERE, FOR ME ANYWAY., History هاري ساكز باحث رصين ومؤلفه هذا نال شهرة واسعة وهو مصدر مهم يمكن الاعتماد عليه في الدراسات المتعلقة بحضارة بلاد النهرين، استعراض شامل وموسوعي رائع. History

Everyday Life in Babylonia Assyria

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